I’m killing comics (part 2 in a series)


Last time out I had reason number 1 but my bloviating kept me from listing any others.  Here’s numero dos:

From the readers standpoint, TPBs are an exponentially more satisfying experience.

What’s better, a story told in 6 parts spread out over 6 months, or a story told in 6 parts that you can read in one sitting?  What are you going to remember better, the one that took you 6 months to finish, or the one that took you 45 minutes to read?

The answer is obvious, especially when you factor in the “What the hell is going on?” factor.  Given that parts 1 and 2 are aat least 30 days apart, I often lose track of details, and sometimes major plot points, as I wait for the next chapter to be published.  Marvel’s “Previously…” page helps quite a bit, but that’s a summary page and by definition is only going to recap in broad strokes.

Don’t get me wrong, I love going to the comic shop on Wednesdays and buying new books, but I love getting a package from Amazon nearly as much.

The devastating Cosmis Watermelon Slice!The best example from my experience I can think of is the GØdland Celestial Edition I purchased last year.  It’s a gorgeous presentation (and I’ll talk about that in another post), but beyond that it’s a massive book.  For $23 (down from $35.  Thanks Amazon!) I got 12 issues of story, plus a boatload of back matter.  It helps that I enjoyed the book quite a bit, but aside from that I read a year’s worth of stories, the first act of the book if you will, over the course of 3 days.  When I put it down, I felt like I had read a weighty novel, and not a slight comic pamphlet.

This is an extreme example, obviously, because most TPBs are usually 5-6 issues long, but the point is still well made.

I don’t know much about the economics of publishing comics and whether or not the market will support a shift away from monthly comics, but I know that TPBs lead to a more satisfying experience on every level.

  • I retain the story better.
  • I enjoy my time spent reading since it doesn’t feel like an investment toward a future payoff.
  • I pick up on smaller details and therefore get more out of the story.
  • I appreciate the bigger picture the author is going for.
  • The narrative flows better.
  • I can read at my own pace.

I’m sure there’s more I’m missing, but that’s all I got for now.  The simple fact is I’ve come to enjoy my time spent reading comics more since my shifting to a TPB heavy reading rotation.  While I don’t think I’ll ever stop reading the monthlies, I can’t say the thought hasn’t crossed my mind.


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